The stair-climbing test, 6MWT, and shuttle test are exercise tests that requires less technical support than the CPET and are more available to any physician. The 6MWT is the simplest and most likely to be cost effective, as it provides useful information regarding prognosis, ADLs, and health care use at a very low cost. In addition, the 6MWT can be used to evaluate response to several interventions, including physical rehabilitation, medications, lung volume reduction interventions, and transplantation. The 6MWT has also been useful in and has become an integral part of the evaluation and response to treatment in other medical conditions, including congestive heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, and pulmonary fibrosis. The stair-climbing test seems to be most useful for preoperative evaluations when a CPET is not available. We have also used it on patients unable to perform a good CPET because of lack of familiarity with bicycle pedaling. The shuttle walk test may be used to better determine a maximal exercise capacity when a CPET is not available and to measure the effects of pulmonary rehabilitation in patients unfamiliar with a CPET. The role of exercise as a therapeutic tool is central to the concept of pulmonary rehabilitation. Exercise training improves not only functional dyspnea and health-related quality of life, but also has been shown to decrease health care resource use. As part of a comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation initiated after a hospitalization for exacerbation, it has been shown to decrease readmission rates.
"Maximal cardiopulmonary testing including peak VO2 has been shown to predict exercise capacity but has its limitations because the very sick are unable to undergo this testing. In several examples, a primary outcome of functional capacity has been adequately demonstrated using the 6MWT in several instances whereby the study population that was unable to complete other means of maximal cardiopulmonary testing [10-13,15,16,18]. The 6-min walk test is simpler than full cardiopulmonary testing, and in this study, we demonstrate its simplicity in epidemiological studies to compare functional capacity of two healthy populations at different altitudes. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We sought to determine if adult residents living at high altitude have developed sufficient adaptation to a hypoxic environment to match the functional capacity of a similar population at sea level. To test this hypothesis, we compared the 6-min walk test distance (6MWD) in 334 residents living at sea level vs. at high altitude.
We enrolled 168 healthy adults aged ≥35 years residing at sea level in Lima and 166 individuals residing at 3,825 m above sea level in Puno, Peru. Participants completed a 6-min walk test, answered a sociodemographics and clinical questionnaire, underwent spirometry, and a blood test.
Average age was 54.0 vs. 53.8 years, 48% vs. 43% were male, average height was 155 vs. 158 cm, average blood oxygen saturation was 98% vs. 90%, and average resting heart rate was 67 vs. 72 beats/min in Lima vs. Puno. In multivariable regression, participants in Puno walked 47.6 m less (95% CI -81.7 to -13.6 m; p < 0.01) than those in Lima. Other variables besides age and height that were associated with 6MWD include change in heart rate (4.0 m per beats/min increase above resting heart rate; p < 0.001) and percent body fat (-1.4 m per % increase; p = 0.02).
The 6-min walk test predicted a lowered functional capacity among Andean high altitude vs. sea level natives at their altitude of residence, which could be explained by an incomplete adaptation or a protective mechanism favoring neuro- and cardioprotection over psychomotor activity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Support and treatment options have been widely discussed in recent decades with the aim of improving morbidity, mortality and quality of life of chronic respiratory disease (COPD) patients. Although it is believed that longer pulmonary rehabilitation programs can provide better results, most of the evidence comes from short-term programs. Aim: To determine the effects of an outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation program on exercise tolerance, dyspnoea, hemodynamic variables and quality of life. Design: Case series study. Setting: Rehabilitation Centre. Population and Methods: A convenience sample of COPD patients was enrolled in this study. The intervention consisted of a 96-wk exercise training program, including aerobic training, upper-limb exercises and inspiratory muscle training. Pulmonary function tests, blood biochemistry, six-minute walking distance test and health-related quality of life were recorded at baseline and after completion of the 6th, 12th, 18th, 24th months. Results: Forty one consecutive COPD patients were recruited and thirty six completed the study. There was a significant improvement in hemodynamics, demonstrated by the gradual reduction in heart rate, blood pressure and MvO2 (double product) starting from the 12th month. Lipid profile showed a reduction of low density lipids and an increase of the high density lipids levels starting from the 6th month. Exercise tolerance, dyspnoea, respiratory muscle strength and quality of life also improved starting from the 6th month. Conclusion: A 24-month pulmonary rehabilitation program leads to a progressive improvement in quality of life, dyspnoea and exercise tolerance, and reduces cardiovascular risk factors in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Impact: Our study suggests that long-term pulmonary rehabilitation programs can result in further improvements in the aforementioned cardiorespiratory variables.
European journal of physical and rehabilitation medicine 03/2013; 49(4). · 1.90 Impact Factor
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